Adaptive Hypermedia in Education

Adaptive Hypermedia in Education

Vehbi Turel (The University of Bingol, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7365-4.ch015


The aims of this chapter are (1) to give the definition of adaptive hypermedia (AH) and state what AH means and (2) to explore the role of AH in education at this digital age, in which the majority of learners are generally digitally fluent and competitive although some claim otherwise. Pedagogically and epistemologically, educational institutions (i.e., nursery, primary, secondary and high schools, colleges, vocational schools and colleges, life-long learning centers, adult education centers, and universities) should respond to such learning demands and differences to accommodate the digital-literate, wise, and efficient learning style preferences of today's learners by providing AH learning materials for them. More frankly, educational institutions have to use and provide AH learning materials for their learners in order to be competitive in this digital age.
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When educational (computer) technologists speak of adaptive hypermedia (AH), mostly one thing comes to mind. It is the use, combination and delivery of digital video, audio/sound, text, visuals (i.e. pictures/images/photographs, graphics, tables, figures), animations, hyperlinks, optimum combinations, instructions etc. on the same digital platform, which are totally computerised and under computer as well as learners’ control. This digital platform also enables learners / users to make preferences, record these preferences, their individual needs and learning goals, and then uses them throughout interaction with the learners in order to meet their personal needs so that they can learn better (Turel, 2015a, p. 2497; Turel 2015b). In other words, AH (a) is a digital environment where a wide range of digital elements are combined and delivered on the same environment through hyperlinks (Figures 1 and 2), (b) has a learner model where learners can make preferences, record these preferences, their individual needs and their learning goals, and (c) uses the learner model to adapt the contents of the hypermedia according to the learners’ needs (based on the data provided and the preferences made by the learners through the learner model) (Brusilovsky 2012, p. 46; Brusilovsky, 2007, Brusilovsky & Millán, 2007; Brusilovsky, Eklund & Schwarz,1998). It is because of this ‘adaptation feature’ that it is now called ‘adaptive hypermedia’ (AH). AH is relatively a new direction in the field of educational technology (Brusilovsky 2012, p. 46), consists of different models (Kahraman et al. 2013, p. 60) and can be classified according to its application areas such as Educational Adaptive Hypermedia, which is the most popular area for research (Brusilovsky, 1996). To sum up, when the combination and delivery of a wide range of digital elements on the same digital platform offers ‘personalised learning’, then such a digital platform is called AH.

Figure 1.

An example of hypermedia where optimum combinations (i.e. text, video, audio, visuals, control buttons, text boxes etc.) can be provided on the same digital platform

Turel, 2015b, p. XXXIII.
Figure 2.

An example of hypermedia as well as hyperlinks. The “word in red colour” (i.e. abide by) contains a hyperlink. When it is clicked on, the provided definition is displayed for the learners

Turel, 2015b, p. XXXVIII.

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